19 show cause notices served on board for FEMA violations in conduct of IPL

Turning the heat on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Youth and Sports Affairs Ministry has written to the Finance Ministry and Enforcement Directorate for the latest “status report” on the 19 show-cause notices served on the board for various FEMA contraventions involving around Rs. 1077.43 crore in the conduct of the Indian Premier League (IPL) II.

The Under Secretary in the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports has in his communication to the Joint Directorate Director, Enforcement Directorate, said: “It may also be intimated whether further notices were given to the BCCI in the conduct of the IPL tournaments subsequent to IPL II. If so, the details of such notices along with their present status and the amount involved therein may be intimated. It may be informed if any other action has been initiated or taken.”

Further, in a separate communication to Revenue Secretary R.S. Gujral, Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Pradeep K. Deb pointed out that the Ministry had been informed that from the year 2007-08, the BCCI's registration under Section 12(A) of the Income Tax Act had been withdrawn and demands had been raised on the BCCI for Rs. 118 crore for 2007-08 and Rs. 257 crore for 2008-09.

“We would be grateful, if you could advise if this demand has been realised from them and whether further tax liability has been assessed and demand raised and recovered from the BCCI for subsequent years,'' the letter states.

Similarly, the Secretary has pointed out the recent sting operations carried out by a TV channel on five IPL players and stated that use of black money in the IPL should be investigated by the Revenue Department and action taken expeditiously as per law.

Earlier in the day, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Ajay Maken informed the Lok Sabha that the Sports Secretary had written to the Revenue Secretary last week in this regard and wanted the inquiry conducted in an expeditious manner by the ED and the Income Tax Department.

Special audit sought

The Minister was responding to an issue raised by the former cricketer, Kirti Azad, of the BJP, who made a strong pitch for a special audit by independent people of the BCCI and other sports organisations concerned, which were registered.

Mr. Maken took the opportunity to make a strong pitch for bringing the BCCI under the Right to Information Act, stating the Central Information Commission was hearing the issue. Mr. Azad, who had gone on a hunger strike on Sunday, got support from the BJP benches as also JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav and some Left members.

Mr. Maken said the IT Department had ensured that the BCCI paid income tax dues of Rs. 365.24 crore from 1996-97 to 2006-07. The income tax realised in 2007-08 was Rs. 118 crore, while the tax liability of 2008-09 was Rs. 257.12 crore, of which Rs. 131 crore has been realised.

The Minister said the BCCI qualified for being brought under the RTI in view of the fact that its single-most important function was to select the Indian team. He said the BCCI and other cricket associations had got a large amount of land almost free from State governments and other institutions and therefore should be subjected to public scrutiny.

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